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A Drinking Life-Pete Hamill

A Drinking Life-Pete Hamill

by Helmut Eder

The New York Times aptly describes A Drinking Life as ‘a vivid report of a journey to the edge of self-destruction’. In his novel, Pete Hamill, the son of Irish immigrants, takes us on an expert tour of his startling and intriguing life. He grew up in Brooklyn and was raised by a loving and caring mother. His father, Bill Hamill, was a drunk who sometimes took his young son along with him to the tavern. Young Pete Hamill got an early glimpse of what lay within these drinking dens. He listened to the insults and curses, and watched the men ‘smoking, singing, laughing and drinking’.

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